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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Bartenders whip up a storm at contest
By JADE CHAN
Photos by RICKY LAI
Third placed: Erik whipping up his Belveryna and Eredevleb Framboise Tea Martini cocktails.
THEY shook, stirred and dazzled the crowd as they whipped up two cocktails – a martini and a long drink – within a few minutes at the Belvedere Bartender Competition.
The competition hosted by Belvedere Vodka at Frangipani bar offered an opportunity to celebrate the skill, creativity and artistry of Malaysia’s bartenders as well as Belvedere Vodka’s belief in the art of mixing the perfect cocktail.
Ten bartenders from various five-star hotels and night outlets competed for the title of Belvedere Bartender of the Year 2007 (Malaysia).
The winner will participate in the Regional Bartender Event in Hong Kong with an opportunity to go on to the Belvedere International Bartender Competition in London.
“Each cocktail must feature one of the three types of Belvedere Vodka – Belvedere Pure, Belvedere Cytrus or Belvedere Pomarancza,” said Riche Monde Malaysia Belvedere Vodka brand manager Jeff Chong, whose company distributes the brand in Malaysia.
“Judging will be based on taste, outlook (bartender’s presentation)
Test of skill and creativity: Adzhar straining his cocktail mixture before pouring it into a martini glass.
The panel of judges comprised Moet Hennessy Spirits marketing manager Andrew Khan, Belvedere Vodka regional brand ambassador Sam Jeveons and Klue magazine managing director John Lim.
“We’re also hosting a cocktail party, which will offer guests and Belvedere lovers the chance to have fun and enjoy some drinks,” Chong said.
Riche Monde Malaysia’s corporate clients, media members and celebrities like Marion Caunter, Wong Sze Zen, Stephanie Chai and Will Quah attended the invitation-only event.
Daphne Iking hosted the event while Camelia entertained guests with a few songs.
“Belvedere literally means 'beautiful to see.' A fitting name for such an alluring vodka,” Iking said during the opening of the event.
Delectable: Alvey sampling Adzhar’s Smooth while Iking looks on.
“The moniker is in fact inspired by the historical Belvedere Palace in Warsaw, former home to Polish royalties and presidents. Continuing a Polish tradition reaching back 600 years, Belvedere Vodka is handcrafted in small batches using centuries-old techniques to ensure the highest quality, “ she said.
Mohd Adzhar Ahmad, who has been bartending at Qba in The Westin Kuala Lumpur for two years, was declared the competition’s winner with his long drink named Pomarancza Ozie and martini called Smooth.
Fellow Qba bartender Rizal Junior Johari won second place with his Capito long drink and June’s martini.
Mohd Erik Fiza Zulkifle from The Loft KL was third with his Belveryna and Eredevleb Framboise Tea Martini cocktails.
Vodka fan James Coathup tried Erik’s Belveryna and described it as “fresh, fruity and delicious”.
“This drink is something I’d actually buy. I usually go for drinks like vodka cranberry and vodka lime soda when I’m out for drinks with friends,” the Australian said.
Channel [V] VJ Alvin Pulga, better known as Alvey sampled Adzhar’s Smooth and declared that its smooth taste lived up to its name.